Rag Quilting Up a Notch

Continuing from the first Christmas Quilt post, in which we compared using an Accuquilt Go! Cutter vs cutting and snipping rag-edge blocks by hand like quilters had to do in the 19th Century, I may have mentioned that Accuquilt has a new electric cutter on the market.

I got one of those new-fangled cutters for Christmas, from Skip, so I’ve been using the heck out of it, naturally!

craftsbyjennyskip.com go! cutter
Accuquilt Go! Big, the electric cutter

The thing is, I’ve got a bad habit of buying flannel remnants at JoAnn Fabric.  I try to keep them organized into 5 boxes: 1) boyish pieces at least a yard in length, 2) girlish pieces at least a yard in length, 3) smaller boyish pieces, 4) smaller girlish pieces, and 5) remnants that are not of a baby-blanket-like color or theme.

I tend to use the yard-long pieces for receiving blankets and the smaller pieces to cut up for quilts.

The 8 1/2″ square rag block cutting template with the cutting mat probably takes more of a beating in use than most of the other templates and mats. There are lots more cutting blades, due to the fringed edges, and the quilter needs to pick out the threads from the template with the pick tool. I’ve tried using other implements with the pick tool: tweezers, needle-nose pliers, shop-vac with various attachments, and not all of them work that great. I’ve read many comments from users who’ve said, “It’s not worth it, all the work you have to do to pick out the threads…” ” the cutting edge doesn’t cut all the way through…” “you can only cut one layer of fabric at a time”….

flannel Accuquilt Go! Big rag block
preparing flannel for cutting on the Go! Big

I’ve found a few uncut edges, but mostly the cutter works pretty well. It has a few little glitches now and then, but mostly it’s a breeze. With flannel, I cut 2, sometimes 3 layers of fabric at a time.

girl baby rag quilt jenyjenny
girl baby quilt
frog baby rag quilt
frog-themed baby rag quilt (not washed yet)
monkey baby rag quilt jenyjenny
monkey-themed baby rag quilt (not washed yet)
boy baby rag quilt layout
layout for boy-themed baby rag quilt
cowboy rag quilt
Cowboy rag quilt 9 blocks x 10 blocks
back of Cowboy rag quilt jenyjenny
back of Cowboy rag quilt

The automated Go! Big is so much easier to use than the regular manual Go! Cutter. It does cost about double the price, but Accuquilt cutters sometimes go on sale at JoAnn’s or the Accuquilt website, or some Quilting Personalities’ web sites like Eleanor Burns, for good price cuts.

6 thoughts on “Rag Quilting Up a Notch”

  1. I love the look of a Rag Quilt. They look so appealing – like they are really comforting, with an edge to run your fingers along. Can you just cut one edge? Imagine a vest or jacket with those appealing edges.

    1. Yes, that would be nice–probably have to cut the fringe out by hand, though, the template would cut that one specific shape. There are snipping shears made that would good for cutting the fringed edges of the fabric pieces…

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